Contribution of ultrarare variants in mTOR pathway genes to sporadic focal epilepsies

the Collaborative Group of Italian League Against Epilepsy (LICE) Genetic Commission

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We investigated the contribution to sporadic focal epilepsies (FE) of ultrarare variants in genes coding for the components of complexes regulating mechanistic Target Of Rapamycin (mTOR)complex 1 (mTORC1). Methods: We collected genetic data of 121 Italian isolated FE cases and 512 controls by Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) and single-molecule Molecular Inversion Probes (smMIPs) targeting 10 genes of the GATOR1, GATOR2, and TSC complexes. We collapsed “qualifying” variants (ultrarare and predicted to be deleterious or loss of function) across the examined genes and sought to identify their enrichment in cases compared to controls. Results: We found eight qualifying variants in cases and nine in controls, demonstrating enrichment in FE patients (P = 0.006; exact unconditional test, one-tailed). Pathogenic variants were identified in DEPDC5 and TSC2, both major genes for Mendelian FE syndromes. Interpretation: Our findings support the contribution of ultrarare variants in genes in the mTOR pathway complexes GATOR and TSC to the risk of sporadic FE and a shared genetic basis between rare and common epilepsies. The identification of a monogenic etiology in isolated cases, most typically encountered in clinical practice, may offer to a broader community of patients the perspective of precision therapies directed by the underlying genetic cause.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-485
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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